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Is a Voter ID Bill Necessary?

I’m not real crazy about this legislation:

The NDP vows to filibuster legislation that would require voter photo ID for the first time in Canadian federal electoral history and the handing over vital personal information about voters to political parties and election candidates..They said the legislation also threatens to prevent thousands of homeless people and the poor from voting because they don’t have personal ID.

The other parties dismiss this concern, including the Liberals… but the Federal Privacy Commissioner doesn’t:

federal privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart lists names and dates of birth among vital pieces of personal information that should be kept from free circulation to guard against identify theft.

You know, this type of a law would get called “voter suppression” in the US by the Democratic Party – for the same reasons the NDP has listed regarding the homeless and poor. Is there so much widespread voting fraud in Canada that this law is necessary? I don’t think there is, so if the NDP can filibuster it.. I won’t be crying if it fails to get passed.

Some other thoughts on this questionable legislation here and here

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5 comments to Is a Voter ID Bill Necessary?

  • There is some fraud and that fact is accepted by all. Is it enough to justify this law ? That’s a judgement call but crap does happen and in ridings where people only won by 9 votes it does not take much to bullox the results.

    My example.
    My wife changed her name when we married, she files taxes, checks the box allowing the information to go to elections Canada. In two of the last elections her name had not changed on the voters card and was changed both times at the poll and we were told it would be fixed next time. Last election we recieved two, one in each of her alias’s. She could have gone first thing in the morning and just before closing and I’m sure no one would notice. Or she could have used one at an advanced poll.

    The Auditor said this week there are still more SIN numbers than people in Canada, so yes there is fraud on many levels. In Ontario the funeral director for my Dad’s funeral told us to cancel the OHIP card immediately, and mentioned that they go for as much as $2500 on the black market.

    So there is fraud and I do think something needs to be done, however this might just be the excuse to justify a national identity card. So is the phrase,
    “vehr are your papers?” in our future?

  • janfromthebruce

    This legislation is discriminatory against homeless, waged/non-waged working poort people. Having these other documents requires $ and places to safely store them. Also, a lot of younger people don’t have this kind of id. This is about stacking the deck in their favour. You are right Scot, this is about voter suppression, and so you have to ask yourself Scott, in whose interest would it serve? Connect the dots and I guess the liberals don’t really see “these citizens” as liberal supporters but obviously they see them as potential supporters for another party. And please stop union bashing, as its demeaning. You are just passing on malious gossip that deflects.

  • Bailey

    This is one thing, I will admit to being on the fence about. I can see where the Liberals are coming from but at the same time I don’t know if there is that much election fraud in Canada to really worry about these sorts of things.

    However, the possibility remains for fraud. Technically there is nothing stopping anyone from going to an apartment building, picking up a few of the voter cards and handing them out to friends to vote on election. If you have the voter card, you don’t have to show ID. I don’t know how I feel about this obvious loophole in the system. It can easily be exploited.

    In some of the post election meetings I’ve been to, there are always the usual grumbles from Liberals about the NDP getting unions to help them out and do something along these lines. I normally shake my head and think it’s just whining and sore loser talk but at the same time I can see it happening. Not that I think the NDP are only ones to do this. I could see any political party take advantage of it. I’m sure that most of the other parties complain about the other parties too and claim they cheated to win. It’s just normal partisan complaining.

    A question however, how do the homeless vote if they don’t have a home in a riding? Do homeless shelters count as their territory for a riding? Something I’ve always wondered…..

  • knb

    Ohh, good feature! I double clicked and it more or less told me I was being redundant. I like it!

  • knb

    It seems to me that this would disenfranchise many, not just the homeless.

    The only photo ID I hold is my drivers license, (my passport is expired but that would be the only other thing I held).

    So, if you don’t drive, what do you have? That is an awful lot of people I would think. Many in large urban centres don’t drive, seniors, etc.

    Do we know why the Lib’s are for this?

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